For someone who wants to hunt animals, there are few things more frustrating than the end of the hunting season.
The winter and spring months are largely off-limits for the hunting of most kinds of animals here in the southeastern US. So what’s a hunter (or aspiring hunter) to do to get the thrill of the hunt, the quality outdoor time, and the stalking skillset in the off-season?
Try nature photography.
Photography is all about getting the right shot – something which takes just as much diligent work and skill as squeezing off the perfect rifle or shotgun shot.
You have to find the right locations (and move between them). You have to work with nature’s cycles and daylight. You have to listen carefully. You have to walk quietly. You have to aim and calibrate your camera’s settings. You have to focus on just the right detail.
All of this pulls you through trails and into the outdoor beauty you’d be enjoying on a hunt. You peer through brush, out onto rivers, and up into treetops. As with hunting, photography takes a normal hike and turns it into a game pursuit.
And best of all? There are no expensive hunting licenses to purchase.
I completely missed out on waterfowl hunting this year but got more than my “limit” from just sitting on a ridge by the Chattahoochee River and photographing Canadian geese in flight across a sunset-tinged sky. It was easy, and it was challenging, and it was thrilling – the same way a good hunt feels.
While photography may not bring home meat for the freezer, it’s not a bad substitute.